Page:Picturesque New Zealand, 1913.djvu/338
PICTURESQUE NEW ZEALAND
can scarcely proceed against them at all. In these winds, which commonly continue without intermission for a day, spray from madly-flowing rivers is flung rods from their banks, and drifting clouds of dust which at a distance resemble flying spume, are seen all along the Tasman's shingle flats.
On this road Mount Cook is seldom out of the traveler's sight on clear days. Here, looming up tremendously, nearly eleven thousand feet above him, it appears to far better advantage than when viewed at close range. At a distance it seems more isolated, its three peaks are more conspicuous, and its supremacy is more readily appreciated. It also presents a fine appearance from the Hermitage. As seen from the Tasman Glacier it is displayed mainly as a ridge; miles away, on the south, it is more grouped. While those who prefer the group formation may not be particularly impressed by the Tasman Glacier view, others prefer it.
Long before reaching the Hooker River Valley, up which one turns to get to the Hermitage, there is seen curving at the base of sharp-crested De la Beche and past the barren, pink-flushed walls of the Malte Brun Range, the Tasman Glacier. It looks like a great white river, which it is—a river of frozen snow larger, it is claimed, than any other "outside the circumpolar regions, except the ice-streams of the Himalayas." It is eighteen miles long; its maximum width is two and one fifth miles; its average width is a mile and a quarter;